I've been utilizing Leica equipment for laser scanning for an extended period, and when I reflect on the early days of my career with a laser scanner, I sometimes cringe at what appeared to be a very primitive tool. In the beginning, laser scanners were large, heavy, and the operation was chaotic. However, like most technologies, laser scanning has made significant strides. Costs have decreased, and workflows have become much faster than in previous years.
One company that stands out for enhancing workflow efficiency is Leica Geosystems. For quite some time now, they have employed iPads and/or Android devices to aid in scanner data capture. While some may view this as merely using mobile devices to operate the scanner, the implications go beyond just pushing a button.
Let me begin by introducing you to the Leica Field 360 Application.
Just like any other application, Field 360 can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
Once the app is downloaded and installed, an account on the Leica Portal will need to be created to gain access. Users are also required to have a license for Leica’s Cyclone Register 360 to get access.
What does Field 360 do? Let's explore some of its features, starting with the ability to operate any Leica HDS scanner with an iOS or Android mobile device. Users can adjust scan densities, allowing the scanner to collect more or less data depending on the chosen setting. The app also enables adjustments to pictures, including turning them on or off and toggling HDR capabilities. Companies often need to collect supplemental data as part of their site surveys, which can take various forms, such as simple 2D pictures, videos, or additional 3D scan data behind objects or equipment not captured by the scanner. All these features and more are possible using the Field 360 Application.
One of the app's most powerful aspects is the ability to use the Cyclone Field application to register individual scans together, creating groups or Bundles. This is crucial, as in the past, with other scanners and in Leica’s history, as much time was spent on registration as on scanning. With the Cyclone Field 360 app, registration can be done in the field as scanning takes place, with the scanner firmware putting the scans together. This significantly reduces office time spent on registration, although it's advisable to check the work when back in the office.
Many individuals have used the Cyclone Field 360 App to scan with an RTC360 or a BLK360 and haven't invested in other scanners like the BLK2Go or the BLK2Go Pulse because these scanners only work with the BLK Live app. Recent versions of Cyclone Field 360 now support these scanners, eliminating the need for a different app. Of course, if you prefer using the BLK Live app, you can continue to do so.
Additional tools available in recent versions of Field 360 include the ability to connect to newer Leica cloud services. Reality Cloud Studio allows users to upload data, auto-register it to create a single point cloud, and automatically generate a mesh. Users can then use the viewer to annotate, dimension, and collaborate. Reality Cloud Studio is a separate purchase from the Field 360 software. Occasionally, users may need to transfer data from one mobile device to another. Field 360 allows data backup to an FAF file, which can be transferred to another mobile device or backed up to Dropbox or another service, enabling direct import into Register 360—an excellent feature for those wanting to bring data from the field back to the office quickly.
If these tools are not working for you, ensure you have the latest version of the Cyclone Field 360 App. To check this, open the app, sign in, click the lowercase "i" in the top right corner, and view the version number.
I firmly believe that this app is one of the most productive tools in laser scanning, second only to the scanners themselves. Over the past several years, it has saved users significant amounts of time, ranging from hours to days and even weeks, by enabling more efficient work in the field. For more information on Cyclone Field 360 or any Leica HDS components, please reach out to your IMAGINiT sales representative.
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